Specialty teams weren't working well for the 67s. They allowed 3 PPGs (having taken 5 penalties) and only capitalized on one PP - including a 53 second 5-on-3). Kingston had the best PK in the OHL going into the game and Ottawa the worst.
Lindsay, Martindale, Toffoli (starters)
Sointu, Smith, Nesbitt
Janes, Merrett, Schinkelshoek
Nigro, Graovac, Stevens
Birkhoff, Ceci (starters)
Scratches: Carnevale (mono), Demers (knee), Cowick (shoulder), Anderson, Cuma (sick)
With Cuma out of the lineup Ryan Hanes got the opportunity to play his natural position at D and for a guy who has not been in the lineup regularly and normally as a forward when he gets in the lineup, he did a pretty good job.
The backup goalies from both teams started the game but neither one saw the end of the game.
Once again, Ottawa scored first in the very early going of the game - on their first shot on Cullen at 1:21. It was Matias Sointu tapping in a pass from Thomas Nesbitt. The lead only lasted a few minutes when Ethan Werek's shot from the faceoff dot beat Mrazek high on the short side.
In his first game of the regular season, Anthony Nigro contributed immediately with an assist on Derek Hartwick's first goal of his OHL career. Nigro's centering pass to Graovac went off a Kingston skate and Derek picked up the puck and tucked it past Cullen. The other assist went to Tyler Graovac.
The rest of the goals were scored in the second period with Ottawa starting out with its only PPG of the game just 34 seconds in the second period. Ryan Martindale got behind the Kingston defender and tapped in Anthony Nigro's cross-crease pass. Cody Lindsay had the second assist and continued his point streak and Ottawa had a two-goal lead.
But then the wheels came off. First it was a PPG, again on the first shot of the PP. Zach Harnden was all alone at the corner of the crease - and I mean all alone - Mrazek was hung out to dry and could not get across fast enough to block the shot. As a result (?) of the PPG, Kingston pulled their goalie! Cullen got the hook and Big Beskorowany was back in net early in the second period. Guess Gilmour was not taking any chances.
Kingston's Clouthier tied it up at the half-way mark when he put it past Mrazek in a bit of a crowd in the blue paint.
Kingston got their first lead of the game a minute and change later, on the PP when Mrazek went way out of his crease to go after the puck and Ethan Werek just threw the puck at the net. It likely went in off one of the 67s skates. Three unanswered goals and Kingston finally had the lead.
Ok, we're still in the second period and the scoring isn't done yet.
Ottawa fought back and tied it up when Travis Gibbons' wrist shot from the blue line went over the shoulder of a screened Beskorowany. Merrett and Schinkelshoek with the assists.
The final goal of the game came on a Kingston PP with Cody Ceci in the box for slashing Ethan Werek's stick in half. And in another odd goaltending decision, Mrazek was pulled for Perugini at this very moment. Perugini had to take the start of the PK at the end of the second period. Of course he was cold and on the very first shot of the powerplay Alan Quine beat him five-hole to go ahead for good.
Ottawa played hard in the third period but Beskorowany was big in net, making a couple of big saves to protect the lead.
The game ended with Kingston's big come from behind 5-4 win although Ottawa outshot the Fronts 31 - 28.
There are 5 teams in the Eastern Conference with 7 points but Ottawa is in last place having played 10 games. The other four teams (Niagara, Belleville, Sudbury and Brampton) all have games in hand.
Ottawa has a big road trip ahead of them next weekend, playing Windsor (4th place in the West), Plymouth (5th) and Saginaw (3rd).
Here's the game sheet.
- The new Kingston arena is pretty nice. There weren't very many fans (I don't believe the number on the game sheet) but they are a very loyal bunch. I spent some time in the tuck shop and they were moving a lot of stuff. I'm sure just about every fan has a hat and at least three pictures of their favourite Fronts. Now that Kingston is icing a better team and getting better results, this is likely to get even better.
- Mrazek's fondness for leaving the crease has always worried me (I like it when goalies stay put) and his bold move contributed to the results.
- There were some really terrific plays by Ottawa players to break up the Kingston rushes, clear out in front of the net, and put pressure on Kingston and their goalies but they are just not getting the finishing. They skated much better in this game than on Friday.
- The in-the-house three stars were Werek, Fine and Nigro.
- Speaking of Nigro, in his first game back he went from the 4th line to the top line and specialty teams. Expect to see some line juggling to make room for him further up the depth chart.
- When Kingston changed goalies, you could see the team pick up its game. They know which of the two tenders is going to carry them far this season. And Beskorowany is going to carry them far. This Dallas prospect fills the net with his big body and moves fast.